Fecal Fat Test Preparation Diet


Malabsorption is a medical condition that means fat in the diet (and also proteins, carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins) may not be absorbed properly. Absorption is the transfer of nutrients into the bloodstream from the intestine. The bloodstream then carries these nutrients to the areas of the body where they are needed. Malabsorption may be caused by disorders of the pancreas, stomach, and small intestine.

The best way to make the diagnosis is to measure the amount of fat in the stool. The fat content is usually measured each day for three consecutive days. To get an effective test result, it is necessary to eat 100 grams of fat each day for six days. This begins three days before the test and continues for the three days during the test. This fat load challenges the intestine to absorb fat. If absorption is normal, up to 6 grams of the 100 grams would be passed with the stool over 24 hours, and the rest would be absorbed in the intestine. Malabsorption is suspected when fat in the stool is in excess of 6 grams.

Nutrition Facts

A 100 gm fat diet should be adequate in all nutrients. Furthermore, this diet is not used long enough to cause deficiencies, especially if the regular food pattern is adequate in grains, vegetables, and fruits.

Special Considerations

1.    Fat intake can be from either animal or vegetable sources. A mixture of the two is usually recommended. The amount of fat eaten should be recorded daily throughout the six-day diet. If 100 grams of fat cannot be eaten each day, notify the physician of the approximate amount eaten.

2.    Each hospital or laboratory has its own special preparation and materials for collecting the stool specimens. These instructions should be followed exactly. Usually, there is a canister for each of the three days. Urine and toilet tissue should not be placed in the container or mixed with the stool.

Sample Menu

Food Groups
Group Recommend
Milk & milk products whole milk (4% fat), 2% milk, creams, whole milk cheeses, whole milk buttermilk
Meat & meat substitutes  marbled meats such as beef and pork, hamburger with over 15% fat, hot dogs, sausage, bacon, lunchmeat, chicken fat, salmon and fatty fishes (most fish is low in fat), dark meat of poultry, whole eggs, meat and chicken fried in oil 
Fats & oils  butter, shortening, margarine, olive oil, vegetable oils (corn, coconut, soy bean), mayonnaise 
Sweets & desserts  commercial cakes, pies, cookies, ice cream, ice milk, custards and puddings made with whole or 2% milk, chocolate 
Fruits  most fruits are very low in fat 
Vegetables  certain vegetables have a high fat content; avocados, soybeans, olives, nuts, vegetables fried in oil, fried potatoes 
Breads & grains  butter rolls, refrigerated or frozen rolls, sweet rolls, commercial or microwave popcorn 
Soups  creamed soups made with creams, whole milk, or 2% milk 
Fat Grams (average serving)
sirloin steak 4 oz, broiled/fried  20/28
dark meat chicken 4 oz. roasted with skin  18
hamburger (20% fat)  14
eggs 2 large  11
cream 1 oz, heavy whipping (35% fat)  11
mayonnaise 1 Tbsp  11
Whole milk (4% fat) 8 oz  8
medium whipping cream (25% fat)  7.6
2% milk 8 oz  4.7
butter 1 tsp  4


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This material does not cover all information and is not intended as a substitute for professional care. Please consult with your physician on any matters regarding your health.

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